Saturday, August 04, 2007


Yesterday I got up early, skipped lunch, and rushed to Maryland, only to discover that the movie I was planning to see, the Misfits (1961),* actually started a half-hour earlier than indicated on the program schedule. Annoying, but they gave me a free cappuccino which managed to somewhat mollify me. If things had gone differently, of course, I'd be reviewing this movie right here; as it is, I'm a hundred pages closer to the end of my book. The second movie on my schedule was thankfully correct: John Huston's minor platonic romantic war adventure Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957),* a movie trapped on a desert island of the tropical Japanese atoll sub-genre. We meet Mr. Allison (Robert Mitchum) half-unconscious in a tension-building credit sequence: as the titles appear, we slowly zoom up on his raft, adrift in the South Pacific. Eventually the camera nods with the gentle swells--in the distance land can be seen! Soon enough, Allison has tied his shoes around his neck, and with Ka-Bar in hand, is busily searching the island's abandoned catholic mission. Here he discovers a beautiful nun, Sister Angela (Deborah Kerr), and promptly, and appropriately, swoons. After his revival, the pair must navigate first their isolation, then an occupying Japanese regiment, and finally a US invasion. All the while, their growing mutual regard prompts each to question the paths they've chosen to devote their lives to. Huston has predictably imbued this simple-seeming movie with the jaw-dropping naturalism I keep belaboring, in this case including an indelible tropical environment, the half-glimpsed humanity of realistic Japanese soldiers, and the perseverance of personal convictions. Only the explosive battlefield finale feels typically staged. Tonight we head to North Carolina for a weekend with two birthday parties and a wedding. I'll probably post again Sunday night. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger qemuel added:

Phil loves him some Robert Mitchum. Every seen NIGHT OF THE HUNTER? Classic.

Saturday, August 04, 2007 6:23:00 AM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Oh, I love Night of the Hunter, and think it is certainly one of Mitchum's finest performances. Still, we can't talk about it here because I bought the DVD recently in order to show it to Sunshine, and we still haven't gotten around to watching it yet.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 3:15:00 PM  

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